News from Steven Goff came out today about General Manager Dave Kasper in talks with the team on extending his contract, which was due to expire at the end of the year. Tangentially, we thought he still was under contract or, at the very least, was about to close on a speculated three-year extension back in 2013. So one would presume maybe terms changed between then and now, but who is to say.
With that said, an extension of Kasper's deal was only natural, given the success of D.C. United in 2014 given cost constraints and the benefits of all of the allocation money, with a salary (according to the Players Union) in the bottom third of Major League Soccer. They won the Eastern Conference in the regular season, and advanced out of group play in the CONCACAF Champions League, to the point of being the highest remaining seed in the playoffs, about to play Alajuelense next week. But we have talked about the need for structure and/or accountability in the front office before, and aside from Jason Levien, there is no reporting layer to speak of. Also, to accompany the extension Ben Olsen signed in September, one would presume the "Bave Olsper" duo will be handling the personnel moves heading into Buzzard Point, which brings us to identity.
Here's where things may be revealing themselves a bit, in that the team is presumably a bit more comfortable in what they have and how to add to it. The team has made Fabian Espindola a Designated Player and had every reason to do so based on his 2014 (we'll exclude the very last game he played last year thankyouverymuch). The team continued to bring in play now, known commodities in Jairo Arrieta and Michael Farfan while giving up assets they were liable to not use much anyway like an international spot (for Arrieta) or a place in the allocation order (for Farfan). And whether it is an international signing like Markus Halsti or an international trialist like Alexander Robinson, or even branching out to the Arrieta and Farfan acquisitions, the shared tendency would appear to be versatility to play midfield and center back (like Halsti) or center and outside back (like Robinson), and another thing is clear, both in the intermediate term and from Olsen himself at Media Day last month:
Both Moneyball and Bennyball are not going away any time soon.